SUPERENGINE® | Why does a gas turbine work?
                             by Karl Obermoser

SUPERENGINE ®  | Why does a gas turbine work?

Because it achieves a thermodynamic cycle process – and how!

The main components of the gas turbine are the rotor and the stator.

The rotor draws in outside air and compresses it to a smaller volume by interaction with the stator. This causes the gas to heat up, which yields higher specific compression work than the Stirling engine can deliver.

At constant pressure, the compressed air is supplied with combustion heat.

The heated air is then allowed to expand (again in interaction between rotor and stator). The gas cools as a result, which leads to less specific expansion work being performed than in the Stirling engine.

Next, the expanded exhaust gas is replaced by fresh outside air.

In its most common form, the gas turbine performs this cycle process largely parallel to the axis of rotation (see picture).

In other words, the centrifugal force transmitted by the rotor to the intake air is not used in order to displace it to a larger radius and thus to compress it. The same centrifugal force would displace the gas, once it had become hotter (on account of the lower density of the gas) towards the axis of rotation and therefore decompress it. The rotor prevents this. The fact that this machine works nevertheless must be regarded as a masterpiece of engineering.

Nature provides us with examples of how the cycle process in the gas turbine can be realised with much less complexity and fewer losses.

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